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Options with your subject: Geography

Your career may depend on your interest in physical or human geography. Consider degree-related jobs, jobs that incorporate elements of your degree, or jobs that are not related at all…

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree:

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

The technical and interpersonal skills you develop during your degree will equip you to apply for geography-related jobs when you graduate, but it is also useful to do some work-shadowing to find out about particular career areas that are of interest to you.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Examples of employers include local government, the armed forces, private companies, environmental consultancies, environmental protection agencies, utilities, charities, information systems organisations, education, commerce, industry, transport, tourism and the Civil Service. Geography graduates have excellent transferable skills, which also attract employers from the business, law and finance sectors.

Organisations are interested in the analytical and research skills developed by geographers during their degrees. For example, The Ministry of Defence (MOD) employs geography graduates as research analysts, and the Police Service offers civilian careers in intelligence analysis and research. Companies also recruit geography graduates as trainee account executives, with responsibility for developing knowledge of their clients' accounts and understanding their research needs.

Find information on employers in environment and agriculture, the public sector, charities and voluntary work, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Specific technical skills directly relevant to geography-related careers include field work, research and report writing, preparing maps and diagrams, and using social survey and interpretative methods.

Geography graduates are also adept in collecting and analysing information using various technical and laboratory-based methods for the collection and analysis of spatial and environmental information (e.g. GIS, remote sensing and mathematical modelling), and recognising the moral and ethical issues involved in debates and enquiries.

In addition, during your multidisciplinary course, you develop other personal and intellectual skills, as geography is very diverse and includes lots of hands-on, practical application and team work.

Further study

Geographers often choose to study Masters or postgraduate diplomas to specialise in a specific area, such as geographical information systems, remote sensing, environmental conservation, environmental management, oceanography, coastal and marine management, meteorology or water resources.

Postgraduate courses in teaching, surveying or urban/rural planning are also popular, as they qualify you to work in those career areas. Some geographers also opt to take business or management courses.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

What do geography students do?

Six months after graduating, around 60% geography graduates are in paid work, either in the UK or overseas.

The top ten professions held by graduates working in the UK include marketing associate professionals, human resources and industrial relations officers, management consultants and business analysts.

More than a quarter of geography graduates continue studying after graduation, with 6% of this number studying while working.

Graduate destinations for geography
Destinations Percentage
Employed 59.6%
Further study 20.2%
Working and studying 5.8%
Unemployed 8.1%
Other 6.3%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 20.7%
Business, HR and financial 14.8%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 12.7%
Technicians and other professionals 10.3%
Other 41.5%

For a detailed breakdown of what geography graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
August 2012

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